tv [untitled] June 26, 2011 9:31am-10:01am EDT
thirty pm on sunday here in moscow you with us we run down the top stories all week forty seven people are confirmed dead after monday's passenger plane crash in northwest pakistan two more survivors of the disaster died in hospitals on sunday investigators say they found no suggestion of mechanical failure to study the flight recorders. there are reports of civilian deaths across libya with nato accused of hitting another military targets in rebel held benghazi some say they're being forced to flee because of the support from colonel gadhafi. skeptics in brussels staged a fake funeral for the euro this week it came as the e.u. agreed on another multi billion euro bailout for greece but the new austerity cuts demanded in return. well next aeronauts he hits the emotional
crusade of an eighty nine year old us world war two veteran outraged by what he believes is the indifference of his country towards the memory of fallen soldiers to stick with us. the large concentration of litter on the beach poses an additional health hazard when the refuse is swept out to sea during a storm. despite this danger leon saw no empty aluminum cans or plastic bottles he found base yos major recycling plant nearby where aluminum cans are crushed in both cans and bottles. leon paid a visit to the owner and manager of the plant derek and you want that i wrote repeatedly to the washington usual suspects the president and the white house the secretary of defense the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff members of congress
so i'm here to began and hopefully an action program with funding from my government but we've got. to be starting to see how there are many. faceted. and call their. way here is in a nutshell what i'm thinking is that we should expand your operation clean up the beach on red beach one would be my primary objectives because my salty language but you can understand my anger and having saying this and desecration of how ground war on red beach. leon had developed an action plan for base you know that included two phases the first would be to set up refuse containers and collection centers throughout the beaches and employ local citizens the second phase would be to establish state of the art incineration systems that would recycle trash as well as provide electricity for the island. leon's action plan could be used for any island
three submission sources but the local fiji television station taped an interview of your own story and his current mission to taro. years. there are two cleone out in his boat to revisit the scene of the battle. i used to have a nightmare. i granted for years afterwards. i had somehow. fallen into the water and i had sunk down and there was a kid sitting on i am on a tank. he was saying he he waved at me he and i are about twenty maybe thirty feet under water and i was looking at i'm wondering what the fuck are you doing here he was sitting on top of the sherman tank and the corals all around this
bright yellow red blue car all was all around us and it was this kid very happily sitting on top of the chevron tank and that's a dream that i had for years. i had told my wife. if i start threatening ron but just leave the bread because i got. back kind of crazy i'm not aware of it but anyway. she she knew when i made those morning sounds i couldn't talk because of i began to speak i would drown i would swallow water. later that day leon visited the residence of john and molly brown she showed a movie about the battle for tara prior to a tour of the sites. just . three cows. but that's three.
player. play. over the years the browns have collected munitions in their back yard a number of shells are still alive. that's right in the river just for these are. live in thirty extra american history are often the still a long way around. yet you said you don't kick it and play for an hour when i am right those are dangerous shells and weapons of all shapes and sizes a majority of them american constantly turn up on base she'll although these of cause deaths and injuries to the local population over the years there is no exact
figure provided by the kid about government. my cordner the local australian naval commander on the island still has the difficult task of dealing with world war two war yes. the issue here is that no one escapes turning out how they got rid of all we wanted to be like kind of but there's a whole range of stuff that just keeps turning up or whatever and it's amazing what some people you know there's a foreign affairs bomber discovered it was that one sort of a chicken curry you know that so i had standing upright. on the end of a bomb and having to detonate a bomb and are using it as just one corner of the chicken but. you know leon was introduced to two australian ex-pats involved in exploring the history of the battle of tara stan ghosh to his professional diver and munitions expert and peter scarlett has lived on the island for over fifteen years stan has done hundreds of dives off base e.o.'s and is employed by history flights on their two year program to survey the island for lost graves there's there's
a plane just looking at randi that's further evidence of the waste that's officially old right. as that what's in the water. is a picture of it that's the station this is the whole see. the waves into sections there before. the debris from the battle still covers the island and every storm on earth new ordinance stan showed leon a fifty caliber machine gun sitting in the water a few yards from the beach front home. i said that's a fifty fifty caliber machine. still the cup again helping fight on a stand keeps a storage container full of the weapons and munitions he's collected. just lines like sixty no more to the c.e.o.'s of us more and more to. the more mortar and edible good. still with the fears and
the flawed system the motor. a lot of us still own the fish bowl or the like this. stuff guides of the radio portable radio that was run out of a boy named truck already baked goods this is the fault of the job but from the supposed office of from him a kid that i dug up and also. had a make a can see the nickel couple. of books event in addition to the japanese told want to take for the main gun it's a thirty seven the room still use the whole explosion room the laws are. up on your head like this right carefully. by the end of day to the ground coming colonel she who had been wounded by shrapnel during his landing the day before rallied his troops to capture the airport runway this
effectively cut the enemy defenses into. day three began with an easier landing of additional marines at the western shore as the american forces began to outflank the japanese defenders that morning a chance event was taking place in the skies nearby. a flight of hellcat fighter planes on routine patrol from the aircraft carrier lexington accidentally intercepted a formation of twenty japanese eeks fighters based from nearby marshall lines the japanese were on a mission to bomb and strafe the tower landing force. by ten o five that morning the americans had shot down seventeen of the twenty bombers and force the remaining three back to their base the marines on base year received from potentially devastating casualties. meanwhile supported by reinforcements and artillery fire from nearby islands the marines used all means
necessary to systematically take out the japanese defenders they slowly advance through the narrow eastern tip of the arctic. leon paid a visit to mother superior margaret sullivan of our lady of the sacred heart mission she showed in the declaration the japanese government is at it just hours after they took over the island now did you have any and playing on a warning that japan was going to occupy the xining all of a sudden they simply showed up as a right to die is that really what i want to finish up every tenth of december to those up till now where they land and face. as his outreach to local officials continued leon and ted met with the minister of interior. her more than three years i've been trying to get our government to do something about the does a creation that has happened to the beach as well as so many americans died in defense of our country as a lot of. them it was a. fight with just
a whole lot of. good will to live was. the show that leon had taped for fiji television was broadcast to all the islanders . by school and the. school i made a number of trips into the big stuff i saw killings i never saw my life and everyone but it really never stopped. and never did. all the time i was coming to think surely. hell. but because i. still. i was so damn angry i think the best thing for me to kill as many of the end of. the world i did something helpless or sons of bitches i simply because i chat
we should. buy one twelve pm on november twenty third the island was declared secured over five thousand five hundred men lay dead on the sands one thousand one hundred thirteen were american marines and two thousand two hundred ninety were wounded only one japanese officer and two enlisted men survived along with fourteen korean laborers. the entire island was a fast twisted wasteland of death and destruction. american and japanese bodies covering the island were a mute testimony to the ferocity of the bow. one marine commented that it was the closest thing to dantes inferno you never seen. it was a hellish wasteland of destruction. literally covered with thousands of bodies and ordnance. now came the grim task of collecting and bury
a body. general holland smith in the marine commander was reputed to have said later that tara was a tragic mistake. after the battle the marines would bury their dead take detailed plot maps of the grave sites and within a matter of days return to their ships. meanwhile the burial were continued gun issue. identification was made more difficult by the condition in decomposition of several bodies and a number were lost at sea. i unfortunately had the unpleasant duty of attending a number of burials and say i can't remember how many at least a half a dozen but one stands out in my memory in particular the chaplain who was in
charge of the burial details i was standing next to him after he said his usual words before we dumped the guy ends of a date and i said the chap on the horizon who is a sky and he said we don't know nice and well his dog tags are in the sailcloth he said. i can't imagine anything more that needs to be said other than they absolutely absurd ridiculous treatment in yes absolutely indifferent treatment was given to all these guys who had died in defense of our country. lieutenant bonny been a posthumous medal of honor winner for his valor in the battle would be buried in the eighth marines grave site number two the navy seabee units which were the logistic backbone of every operation would then clean up the battlefield can quickly build the infrastructure to support an airfield.
this is a picture of the island after the c.d.c. cleaned it up and turned it into a modern air base you can see some of the temporary cemeteries there's thirty three twenty six twenty five this is part of the old pier right here the island basically had forty three cemeteries and in any building into a modern air base they basically erased some of the senators. louis hcan has been working for the australian government as a contractor. he has made some unusual discoveries while rebuilding base use infrastructure and you know there was one instance we dug below the water table this is the one that stain very interested in and we found it really in complete skeleton still had partial uniform boots watch and a bit more because a lot of the the i was how much did the metal part yes or rather the rather the white was a little below in the front of the was. part of the last one i was previously
signed yes and nothing else now. so you told somebody in a government u.s. government about this. that the project engineered the project a project manager on duty right off to. the admiral numinous organization but what happened was the the lawyer a nice buns in that up in the office in a rush by. an oil rig bring a draftsman or have a truck and drop the drawing card and this bag was on the title. and he was it will months and now call on son of a letter to them as much as they are going to say what we should do with the file and then was our reply here which will as. we can for a awarded i feel almost like he's one of like can you at all leon had spent months
seeking assistance from every level of government to address the garbage situation at base you now he discovered something even more disturbing that hundreds of marines remains still lie in the sands of the island. just as we've been told by the guys we met with the. woman down on the ground and almost anywhere you walk you see the mortal remains of somebody japanese american he was introduced to the minister of health dr. presented saxon place i don't lie the things that i want to do to help you ultimately he was granted a beating with the president of cuba. it will on the employment of citizens of who will who will assist. in the monitoring of the refuse collection of your country and ultimately. a state of the art incineration system.
which will have a number of benefits for. the brutality of the tower were campaign would soon hit home when the american public began to see the pictures of the casualties and devastation in late december nine hundred forty three the gruesome carnage was so disturbing that some mothers demanded nimitz's resignation what was more striking was not just the heavy casualties but the confusion regarding the burial of hundreds of marines who gave their lives ataru the actual number of total missing people from this from this battle was five hundred eleven basically it's a very nebulous number there is a huge distance here there's eleven hundred six people lost at the end of the war when the army came back to doing these people up and take them back to the states
only three hundred ninety two were dug up and brought back to the states there's over. well over two hundred fifty probably almost three hundred people on the island today the quartermaster corps of the of the army made a reasonably diligent effort starting in february of one thousand nine hundred eighty six and winding up in. may of nine hundred forty six they had done to find the remains of approximately three hundred maybe four hundred guys but. they report . issued by the guy in charge so that they could not account for almost fifty percent of the people who were brought back to the states those are real graves those are real people who were brought back but there was over three hundred that were never brought back and those people's names are still listed as missing in action today although many of them we have pictures of their graves we have pictures of the maps of where they were buried those people those families were
never told that here's your family member and return to the states those people are still lost in space this is a photograph. bernard she leaves grave on the west side of the island near what was known as green beach and that's a photograph of his grave and he's still missing today this is someone named steve momar who no one even knows who he is and no you can't even find. a mention of him in any of the original rosters here's a picture of grave number eighteen with robert brand baseball norman jr frank as the sea and henry lot so they're all still missing today this is a photograph of grave number eleven where there are one hundred forty five graves and only thirty two were disinterred this is a plot math grave number thirty three were four hundred people were were listed as being buried but in reality only hundred twenty nine were recovered. one of those
people by the way is alexander bonny man who was who won the congressional medal of honor in the battle of sorrow and in doing so he lost his life and he was buried in one of these cemeteries and never found lieutenant alexander bond even was one of four congressional medal of honor winners which also included first lieutenant hawkins william bordelon and the only survivor of the battle colonel david chu. bonnie minh and many other brave men were on leon's mind when he paid his respects at the marine monument which has been placed in a parking lot away from the litter on the beaches. as a fitting tribute to the many missing in action and still lost on this tiny stretch of coral leon peace whose respects to a special marine so much lies here he came to the coast watchers memorial a beautiful war all to those guys who gave their lives. in defense of their country
and ours too by the way and the brits the the australians of ruzicka of theirs are no more allies turbot soames is not he lies here or somewhere we're i'm standing and then unmarked grave and like our government on recognized forgotten. and of no value. god rest him. and i feel very sad about him and his relatives in tense difficulty of world war two many people seventy nine thousand of them basically were lost in space this is an example of different branches of the service not being able to communicate effectively with each other and show where they left all these people and this is not on usual island i mean this is an enormous mistake that happened during an enormously difficult time in american history and this was
a reticence generation of people because after world war two many people does that all the time they get on with their lives and this issue is a done issue but in reality a lot of people's families don't feel that way. leon and the crew finally headed home but for him the work has just begun. he is determined to fight until action is taken by our government i'm going to present the documentary into salad or feinstein and hopefully have her take the necessary action have appropriations provided to tara so that they garbage control program and the public education program could get underway before taro sinks under the ocean a couple of gallons in the twelve their chain island archipelago arnaldo all the nice the ocean and it's only a matter of time maybe a dozen years or twenty or thirty years before the entire island group will be called the new atlantas because there won't be any tomorrow. after nearly sixty
five years have passed many unanswered questions remain hundreds of americans are still lost in the sands of the show and there's a dangerous as well as disastrous environmental legacy that remains on this tiny atoll and many other islands throughout the pacific campaign. for leon cooper the battle is just beginning.